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Marcia Berkowitz, M.Ed., Ed.M.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Marcia Berkowitz, M.Ed., Ed.M., has an extensive background as a special educator and administrator. Since 2014, Ms. Berkowitz has served as the Executive Director of the ACCEPT Education Collaborative in Natick. Before becoming Executive Director, Ms. Berkowitz served as ACCEPT’s Director of Special Education for ACCEPT for seven years where she designed and implemented many new school programs, home-based services, and consultation programs for students, educators and school districts served by the Collaborative. Prior to joining ACCEPT, Ms. Berkowitz was the Director of Student Support Services for a local district. Ms. Berkowitz holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education and a Master of Education degree, with a concentration in School Counseling from Boston University and Master’s of Education in Education Leadership from Lesley University.
Jescah Apamo-Gannon, MS.Ed., BCBA, LABA
DIRECTOR HOME-BASED SERVICES & MCAS COORDINATOR
Jescah oversees all aspects of our home-based programs and serves as the MCAS Coordinator. Prior to her position at ACCEPT she worked as a special education teacher, practicum supervisor and home-based supervisor. She has 15 years of experience across diverse settings; public and private schools, homes, and community. She is a Board Certified and Licensed Behavior Analyst (BCBA & LABA) with a Master of Science degree in Education from Simmons College and an Advanced Post-Graduate certification (ATP) in Behavior Analysis from Northeastern University. Jescah holds DESE licenses as Teacher of Students with Severe Special Needs K-12, Transition Specialist and Autism Specialist and is also a DESE MCAS-Alt Training Specialist. Currently, Jescah is a PhD candidate in Behavior Analysis at Simmons College. She is an adjunct professor and has served on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Council for Exceptional Children (MCEC) as Chair of Membership from 2014 to 2017. Jescah was the 2016 recipient of the Susan S. Rees Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
Beth Burns, M.A., M.Ed.
CURRICULUM COORDINATOR
Beth has worked at ACCEPT as a Special Educator for 20 years. Beth has a Master’s of Education in Severe Special Needs from Fitchburg State College and a Master’s of Arts in Educational Psychology from University of Connecticut, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Educational Technology from Boise State. She is a certified Special Education teacher for students with intensive needs and has the DESE endorsements in Autism and as a Transition Specialist. Prior to coming to ACCEPT Beth worked in both residential group home settings and in public school classrooms. Beth has worked as a School Consultant to area districts. She also serves as a staff trainer for crisis management and the use of positive de-escalation techniques. Beth was the first recipient of the Susan S. Rees Award for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and has mentored many new teachers over the years. She has conducted numerous workshops to assist educators in effectively creating instructional materials and using curriculum resources, educational technology and evaluation tools.
Anne Donovan M.Ed., BCBA, LABA
DIRECTOR SCHOOL CONSULTATION
Anne Donovan has been serving as the Director of ACCEPT Education Collaborative’s School Consultation & Evaluation Services for over 10 years. She received a Masters Degree in Education and is a licensed special education administrator and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Anne has extensive experience working with public school districts and Collaboratives to develop a range of special education programs and services and provide professional development opportunities to build districts' capacity to meet the needs of diverse student populations. She has presented at numerous regional conferences and workshops and also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member at Bridgewater State University and Framingham State University where she teaches graduate level courses. Anne has an advanced certification in Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) and she has also participated in several initiatives with the Massachusetts DESE, including being a trained strategic planning facilitator using the Planning for Success (PfS) framework.
Cathleen Ellis
DIRECTOR OF FINANCE
Cathleen has been with ACCEPT for 4 years and is responsible for all areas of finance, Payroll/HR, budgeting and planning. Cathleen has experience working in non-profits and corporations as Treasurer, Director of Financial Systems, Accountant and various business/finance roles. Cathleen is licensed with DESE as a School Business Administrator. She earned a Masters degree from Bentley University and a Bachelors degree from Ithaca College in Accounting and Information Technology.
Kate Garabedian, RN, BSN
NURSE LEADER
Kate has an extensive background in nursing, including working in number of tertiary care academic medical centers. She is also the owner and manager of an area youth fitness studio. In addition to her Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which she earned at Fairfield University, Kate holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science from Sacred Heart University.
Kathryn Lawless
MEDICAID PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Katie has been with ACCEPT's Medicaid Services group for seven years. As Medicaid Program Coordinator, she is responsible for helping both member and non-member school districts obtain reimbursement from Medicaid for services provided to eligible students with special needs. Katie has a BA from the College of the Holy Cross and an MBA from the F.W. Olin School of Business at Babson College, and has business experience in management consulting, marketing, and operations.
Becki Lauzon, M.A., CRC
TEAM CHAIR, TRANSITION COORDINATOR
Becki's areas of responsibility include conducting transition assessments, consulting to school districts as a DESE endorsed Transition Specialist, providing professional development trainings for districts on transition planning and job coaching, and providing oversight and supervision to ACCEPT’s transition programs. Becki received her Bachelor of Arts in Social and Rehabilitation Services and Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling from Assumption College. She is also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) and has supervised numerous graduate students as interns at ACCEPT. In addition to her position at ACCEPT, Becki is an Adjunct Faculty member in the Human Services and Rehabilitation Studies Department at Assumption College.
Dalexis Valdez
TRANSPORTATION MANAGER
Dalexis has been in the non profit sector for over 10 years. Currently serving as the transportation manager for ACCEPT. In his career Dalexis has served in several roles in operations throughout Massachusetts in order to provide high quality programs. As transportation manager, Dalexis oversees all aspects and operations including district, family and school relationships.